BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Jesus’ Birthplace Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage List

Bethlehem Church of the Nativity to be First Palestinian UNESCO Site

June 29, 2012 update: Jesus’ traditional birthplace at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity was confirmed as the first Palestinian UNESCO world heritage site by a 13-6 vote.

Church of the Nativity

A The golden star in the floor of the Church of the Nativity marks the traditional location Jesus’ birthplace. The Bethlehem church was recently nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage List. Photograph by Garo Nalbandian

Read the original Bible History Daily article on the nomination of Jesus’ birthplace as a UNESCO site below:

The Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, built above the cave that traditionally marks Jesus’ Birthplace, was recently nominated to become part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of Christianity’s holiest sites, the first basilica was built in the fourth century C.E., and the sixth century Church of the Nativity still stands today. While few would contest that the site meets the UNESCO World Heritage List criteria of “holding outstanding value,” bearing “a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition” or being “directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance,” the nomination of a Palestinian UNESCO site has been a controversial affair. The Palestinian Territories were granted UNESCO membership in October 2011 over Israel and the United States’ objections, who responded by cutting funding to the UNESCO program.


In the free ebook Who Was Jesus? Exploring the History of Jesus’ Life, examine fundamental questions about Jesus of Nazareth. Where was he really born—Bethlehem or Nazareth? Did he marry? Is there evidence outside of the Bible that proves he actually walked the earth?

The Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem and is the largest tourist attraction in the Palestinian Territories. The church’s Grotto of the Nativity has been considered Jesus’ birthplace since ancient times, and the traditional precise spot of the birth of Jesus is marked by a 14-pointed silver star in the floor. Nada Atrash, of Bethlehem’s Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation, told CNN* reporters that adding the Church of the Nativity to the UNESCO World Heritage List would be “a Palestinian dream, and as a reward of 11 years of work in the field of preserving the cultural and natural heritage in Palestine.”

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, sacred to Christians as the traditional location of Jesus’ birthplace, may become the first Palestinian UNESCO site.

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11 Responses

  1. Joseph says:

    I don’t know politics behind it. But I think, granting status of UNESCO”s heritage, it will get some more fund to maintain worlds holiest place. And upmost care will be taken to preserve the church.

  2. Krzysztof Ciuba says:

    Nr 7,Randy is right. Read ex.R.E.Brown, a Catholic biblical scholar, a member Paul vi Pontiff Biblical Commission,The Birth of the Messiah., 1978?

    too much political correctness again

  3. Ο Ναός της Γεννήσεως του Ιησού στη Βηθλεέμ προστέθηκε στη λίστα των μνημείων παγκόσμιας κληρονομιάς της UNESCO | ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΚΑ ΔΡΩΜΕΝΑ says:

    […] Jesus’ Birthplace Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage List – Bible History Daily. […]

  4. Ο Ναός της Γεννήσεως του Ιησού στη Βηθλεέμ προστέθηκε στη λίστα παγκόσμιας κληρονομιάς της UNESCO | ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΚΑ ΔΡΩΜΕΝΑ says:

    […] Jesus’ Birthplace Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage List – Bible History Daily. […]

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11 Responses

  1. Joseph says:

    I don’t know politics behind it. But I think, granting status of UNESCO”s heritage, it will get some more fund to maintain worlds holiest place. And upmost care will be taken to preserve the church.

  2. Krzysztof Ciuba says:

    Nr 7,Randy is right. Read ex.R.E.Brown, a Catholic biblical scholar, a member Paul vi Pontiff Biblical Commission,The Birth of the Messiah., 1978?

    too much political correctness again

  3. Ο Ναός της Γεννήσεως του Ιησού στη Βηθλεέμ προστέθηκε στη λίστα των μνημείων παγκόσμιας κληρονομιάς της UNESCO | ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΚΑ ΔΡΩΜΕΝΑ says:

    […] Jesus’ Birthplace Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage List – Bible History Daily. […]

  4. Ο Ναός της Γεννήσεως του Ιησού στη Βηθλεέμ προστέθηκε στη λίστα παγκόσμιας κληρονομιάς της UNESCO | ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΚΑ ΔΡΩΜΕΝΑ says:

    […] Jesus’ Birthplace Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage List – Bible History Daily. […]

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